Although the ZDEM has opened its doors to foreign investment, it is still in a preliminary stage of development, thus in order to support the construction buildings in the zone, the management team is offering to foreign construction companies the opportunity to settle in the area or to open operations in the zone immediately.
Currently there are some urgent needs such as, supply of light panels, ceramic flooring, toilets and sinks, plumbing parts, light and heavy metal structures, and steel pipes.
The now operational Mariel port has a major container terminal with an annual capacity of 1 million containers, which
is about 3 times more than the capacity of the port in Havana. It is managed by a leading global port operator: PSA Singapore International, has 700 meters of berth length and 18 meters depth, enabling it to receive simultaneously two giant ocean vessels. Mariel has the potential to become one of the major hub ports of the Caribbean, especially in light of emerging economics in the region – Brasil, México & Chile – and the extension of the Panama canal.
Currently the Cuban government is working to develop the 470 km2 Mariel zone (ZEDM by its Spanish acronym), which will have water and electric infrastructure, highway and railway connections, logistics facilities, distribution and warehouse facilities, industrial and service parks, retail centres, workforce housing, conference facilities, recreational facilities, etc.
Cuba’s objectives are:
Something else to consider is the strategic location of Mariel port and the ZEDM. On one side the closeness to the US, because Mariel port will handle the majority of the US cargo once the embargo is lifted. On the other side it will be well connected to other major development areas within the country:
Concessionaires and users enjoying this special regime are exempted from the following tax obligations:
To provide services to concessionaires or users, Cuban and foreign permanent resident employees must first establish their labour relationship with the designated Cuban entity.
Concessionaires and users of the Zone must provide the following:
Concessionaires and users shall open accounts in freely convertible currency in any bank institutions of their choice established in the Zone (thus the banking operations must be done through the bank that has been chosen to perform business activities in the Zone). The transactions made by concessionaires and users with Cuban national companies are subject to Cuban banking regulations.
Foreign investors, whether they are concessionaires or users, once established in the Zone, have the right to freely transfer abroad – in freely convertible currency – net profits or dividends obtained as a result of the investment, as well as repatriating invested capital, without paying any taxes or bank fees related to such transfers.
Foreign citizens providing their services in the Zone – as long as they are not permanent residents in Cuba – shall have the right to transfer their earnings abroad, subject to Cuban banking regulations.
Conflicts between concessionaires and users or between them and a Cuban national company will be resolved in Cuban courts, or any other form of dispute resolution previously agreed, e.g. mediation based on agreement terms and conditions.